The Texas State Board of Education decided last week that the biblical prophet Moses will keep his place in the curriculum as an influence on America’s founding documents, according to the Austin American-Statesman — despite working group recommendations that he be removed.
> High school students will continue to learn in government class that Moses, along with William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu, were among those who influenced the U.S. founding documents. The Republican-led board voted along party lines to keep Moses in the curriculum, with board Chairwoman Donna Bahorich, R-Houston, abstaining although she has indicated her support of retaining Moses in the past.
> “In the United States, the most common book in any household in this time period was in fact the Bible, and people who didn’t necessarily believe in religion as such ... still had a great knowledge of the Bible. In referencing Moses in the time period, they would have known who Moses was and that Moses was the law-giver,” said board member Pat Hardy, R-Fort Worth.
However, Democratic board members said the religious figure does not belong in the curriculum and voiced the opinion that the board should follow the working group’s recommendation.
> “Maybe he was a law-giver, but that doesn’t mean he influenced our Founding Fathers,” said board member Ruben Cortez, D-Brownsville. “That doesn’t mean we can make a giant leap that someone from an entirely different continent centuries ago ... was somehow responsible for drafting ... these founding documents.”
Any decisions regarding the curriculum are tentative until the board takes a final vote, the Statesman reported, and the materials would go into effect next school year.